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Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 1017;

An Algorithm for In-Flight Spectral Calibration of Imaging Spectrometers

Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
Remote Sensing Laboratories, University of Zürich, CH-8057 Zürich, Switzerland
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose Moreno, Clement Atzberger and Prasad S. Thenkabail
Received: 5 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 11 December 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Uncertainties in Remote Sensing)
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Accurate spectral calibration of satellite and airborne spectrometers is essential for remote sensing applications that rely on accurate knowledge of center wavelength (CW) positions and slit function parameters (SFP). We present a new in-flight spectral calibration algorithm that retrieves CWs and SFPs across a wide spectral range by fitting a high-resolution solar spectrum and atmospheric absorbers to in-flight radiance spectra. Using a maximum a posteriori optimal estimation approach, the quality of the fit can be improved with a priori information. The algorithm was tested with synthetic spectra and applied to data from the APEX imaging spectrometer over the spectral range of 385–870 nm. CWs were retrieved with high accuracy (uncertainty <0.05 spectral pixels) from Fraunhofer lines below 550 nm and atmospheric absorbers above 650 nm. This enabled a detailed characterization of APEX’s across-track spectral smile and a previously unknown along-track drift. The FWHMs of the slit function were also retrieved with good accuracy (<10% uncertainty) for synthetic spectra, while some obvious misfits appear for the APEX spectra that are likely related to radiometric calibration issues. In conclusion, our algorithm significantly improves the in-flight spectral calibration of APEX and similar spectrometers, making them better suited for the retrieval of atmospheric and surface variables relying on accurate calibration. View Full-Text
Keywords: in-flight spectral calibration; retrieval algorithm; imaging spectrometer; maximum a posteriori optimal estimate; Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX) in-flight spectral calibration; retrieval algorithm; imaging spectrometer; maximum a posteriori optimal estimate; Airborne Prism Experiment (APEX)

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kuhlmann, G.; Hueni, A.; Damm, A.; Brunner, D. An Algorithm for In-Flight Spectral Calibration of Imaging Spectrometers. Remote Sens. 2016, 8, 1017.

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